tv Charlie Rose PBS November 3, 2009 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
>> rose: welcome to the broadcast. night, a cversation with one of the most important rigious figures in the world. he is his all holiness, the ecumenical bar tt will knew of constantinop. he's the leader of 300 million orthodox christians. we spoke in atlanta during his currenvisit to the united states. tomorrow in washington he meets with president obama >> the only message thateople of religion like myself uld give to e world comnityis respt everybody. all human beings as created in the image and leness ofod. and to hel jesus chri said whateverou do for my smallest, poorest
captiong sponsored by rose communications from our studios inew york citythis is charlie rose. rose: his all holiness, ecumenical patriar bartholomew of cstantinople, is the primary spiritua leader of the orthodox christian worldnd the orthodox crch, which has 300 milliomembers around the worl it includes the churchesf alandria and jerusalem, russia serbia, romania, bulgia, georgia,cyprus, greec, pond, bania, the check reap, slovakia, finland, estonia and numerous archdiocese in thold d new world. he is the 270th successoof the 2000ear-old local christian churchounded by st. andrew e apostle. the orthodox religionas found in 1054 aft a split with a catholic church er the primacy of the pope. the ligion spread to russia, greece easte europe and me recentlyo the united states. today ortdoxy remns one of
the most popul form of christianity. s all holines was born 1940 on the turkish islan of'm bruce. his father was a barbershop owner. he enrolled in a tological school graduatg with hig honors in 1961 onctober 22, 1991, heas elected the 270th archbisp of constantople. he w enthroned in the patriarchal cathedral in isnbul. from the binning he has been on a miion to modernizehe church and make it more revant. early on, he became identified with environmealism by incorporating yet inis spirituamessage, he has preached in e spirit of alogue and understanding amg l religis. while there are chrez yas cal dierences with the catholic church, he has met withthe pope several tis. he had seral meets with john paul inthe 1990s and t with benedictn turkey. he's met with leaders around the world, including fidel castro
and moammar qaddafi. his holeryness is wellnown in america having receive the congressional gold medal and met with the past ree predents. he's on his sixth viz hit in the unit states. it began in neworleanshere he attended a symposium on pollution theississippi river. he travel new york where he met wi ban ki-on. tomorrow in washingto he will meet with present obama and tend diners in his honor by the secrary of state and vice president. in 28 he published a book called "encounte the mystery: understandin orodox christiaty today." i metim with in atlanta last week at the c.e. of coca-cola, a turkish citen whose father s a disnguished turkish diplomat. the conversation began with a questionbout his ro as he w it. te me about your role. >> by the grace of god i am the first bishopin the whole
orodox church world. you may kneein the orthodox church have the principal of the indepdent churcheshich are free to coordinatend organize their iernal affairs. the local churches electheir prime and the role of the ecumenical patriarch as it is historic title of th patriarch of constantinopl today istanbul, is a role of primacy of honor and love. and a rol of coordination among all the orthodox chuhes throhout the world. we hav many examples even from
th cent history of our church wherethis role of coordition, of the ecumenical patrrchy is quite clear and so the ecumenical patriarc has a duty to assist, to help the other sister orthodox churches when they have internal problems r the solution o which they need the higherassistance of the first seat of the wholly orodox church. recent, only a few yes ago we had such cases with jeralem with the autophalus church o cypr which asked for the assistance, the inrnational... interventi of the ecumenical patriarchynd we offered otherly assistae with great ve. so this is the rolef the i can
you men cal patriarch. ecumenical. we also coordinate dialogues with the other christian churches and denominations. in fac, it was on the initiative of thecumenical patriarch thate started almost 25 years o an official bilatel theological diogue withhe church ofrome, with the anglican communion, the luthan world federation and so on. we have thisind of dialogues, theological dialogues with all the othe cistian broths and sists. but 25 yrs ago the ecumenil paiarch took the initiave to initiate academic dialogues with the otrono theistic regions as well, israel and
judaism. and have con voced sevel conferences, meetings withthem. some of them in istanbuln my seat under the title peace and tolerae. >> rose: you we considered first among equals of the nine patriarchs. why is there? >> this is out of historical reasons becae constannople, today istanbul was the capital of the eastn roman emre. as such, the emenical councils especially second one, is 381, and the fourth emenical uncil, 4501 ga some
prerogatives to the church of constantinop which are alway vali and that is why today in the1st chen rurry the same erarchical order and the same church discipline is valid in the ortdox family and all the otr sister orthox churchs do recognize this primacy of love and honor to the church of constantinople. whic primacys not pricy of mination, of... of jurisdtion but it is a imacy of service. intpret our primacy as such. service to the unity of the orodox family. d as i sd, to coornate on
orthodox affairs. >> rose: i want to makehis a kind of primer for my audience around the world in ter of understaing christianity and where orthodox is within christiandom and how you see the difference in terms o western and eastern. >> you know that the great schism, separation, between christian east and the christian west took place in the year 1054 sie we are unfortunately separated and a of the theologicalialogues among divided christians ientioned pain t reestabli this unity between ea and west. inhe meantime, unfortunately
in the christian west had other division. i mean protestant. >> rose: rig. >> which left the roman catholic church and formed anoth crch group with several subdivisions, so to sa and our dialogue with tm, too, th our protestant brothers and sisters say to the same say credit goal,he reestablishment of perfect uty. so in thehristian eas which remains without communion with e western christianit the church of constannople, the paiarch ofonstantinople became the first. anwe have wl-established
hierarical oer according to which after constant nopeal we have the patriarchat of antioch and then jerusalem and the are the four ancient patriarchats of thechristian east. and then we have patriarchats of eastern europe, rusa, serbia, romania, and so on. anafter they have we have autocephal, independen orthodoxhurches whi do n bear t title of a patriarchat. russia and all other sister churches which are aocephalus toda were under the
jurisdicti of constantinople. in the 16th century russia became autocephalous, independent, and later churches, the balkans, beca autocephalous chches. some say hnic churche don't likehis term. i would likelocal... i would like to say local dependent or autoephous because ove dox mustot be idenfied with eticity, it must be on to everybody. >> rose: but are there doctrinal differences? >> no. between... among the orthodox... local orthodox churches there i not any dock trialal.... >> rose: and between the west and between po benedict and... >> the pain fference between us is therimacy of the pope, the prime sayof the bishop o
rome within the context ohe ole christian church. cording to the belief the interpretationf the roman catholic church, this primacy is a primacyiven by god. anit gives to the pope as such jurisdictionll ove the ristian world. acrding to the interpretation of our orthodox church,his primacy ofhe bishop of rome is exactly as it isoday the primacy of the church of constantinopleithin the orthodox family. now in the framework of our theological dialogue beten catholic and orthodox, the mai
issue under the libation... undediscussion is precisely the matter o the iss of primacy only a few da ago we had on the island of cyprus the meeting of the internaonal mixed commission between orthodo and tholics and it continu on the basis of prepared drafts text ey discussed the issue ofhe primacy of the pop of coursthis is a difficult question, thmain question of which differentiates rome and orodoxy and this dialogue with good wil and mutu understanding and love will
continue until we reach a commo agreement, conssus. >> rose: andou think that' poible? >> it isossible. we must be optimistic. inhe gospel.... >> rose: (laughs) >> in the gospel it is saidhat whatever is impossible human beings it ispossible to god. and we pray and worko rlize his dive which l which i that all tho who believe in him may be one. it wi time because the separation between east and west es back to 11th century and such large gap of almost ten centur is no easy to fulfill fromne day to another.
but it is very important that we start this dialogu of love from th beginning and later on dialogue of truthin this last 40 to50 years and we see each other no more as enemies with aggression to each other. but really truly as brothers in christnd we aspire, both of us the sa full and perfect unity. e late pope pl vi used to say thaorthodox and caolics are most united. quasi-uniti. >> rose: (laughs) >> so we must work and pray to
lift up 6-up, to eminate, to almost have this perfect union according to theill of our lord. >> rose: you're in the united states. th is the sixth time you have been here. you rerned to new orans. you participad in a symposi. you were wit theecretary general and former president clintoand others in washington you'll meet with the president, secretary of statevice president and oths. what do you he to accompsh your visit? >> i came to the united stes, you said, for our eig international interfah and interdisplinary environmental
sympium which took place last week in new orleans we he this series of ecological symposia in order to create sensitivity and then awareness among our own faithful but not only. this is a real concern of the church as it is and muste a concern of all of the human kind human beings because we see everyday more and more the dangers d the threats o climate change, of pollution and so o and we have t create this awareness and sensitivity so th at least hr children and grandchildren may li in a more
huma more beautiful, more cleanorld. usually we speak aut the education ofur children and good fd ofur children but what about the air that they breathe and the water they drink now andomorrow and after tomoow we have to think of t coming generations, the posterity. at is beauty of the chuh and that is y the ecumenical patriarchat initiat this symposium. environmental aivity. now i came to the ited states not only for ts symposium but inrder to visit and t bless our faithful here under the
ecumenical patriarchat who are almost two million and generally speaki all the orthox living in the united states who are five million. in fact, the other d we met with archbhops in the metropolitans living this orthox groups, orodox churchesn the state and we tried to have mutualnderstand and fruitfu cooperation in orderto give positive good nice christian wiess to the american cmunity and to rengthen inaith our own fahful. >> rose: m understanding is that somewhe between 250 and 300 miion members ofhe orthodox churc >> yes. throughout the world.
>> rose: throughout the world. think it was al gore but it may ha been someone else who first called you the green triarch. (laughs) you accepthat? >> tha you. it's an nor for me. it is recognion if you like of our humble environmeal activities. it is good formore general spreading out of this environmental messag >> rose: yr message is spiritua that it is a iritual responsibili... >> it is. >> rose:... the chuh and its leaders fo you to connect who the planet and spituality. >> i usedto they ecological problem is not nearly an economicr a pitical problem.
it is mainly a spiritu and ethical queion. becausit shows our relation not only to god or with god but so our ration with the creator of everything accordin tour faith but alsour relaon to his creation because the creation ofgod is also say cet credit ande have to respect it a to protect it according to the order the first book of the old testament and simply to use it and not to abuse it, think of the coming generations whomust share the same treasures, the same resource of the planet as we do
today. >> rose: so how d youlan to use ur influence toake a difference? >> maiy, as said, through eating consciousss of responsibility, for respect and protecon of the natural environmenof the planet of which we a sily stewas and not owners. rose: all right. you also he interesting ideas out the global economy. >> well, we.. >> rose: giv us your econic... >> w liv and we experience economic... world enomic crisis, all of us. >> rose: yes. >> but i the last analysi this economic csis is arisis
of values and priorities. if tre goes to be me social justic mor human aoech to poverty more love in the ristian.... >> re: so you have ecomic leaders and busiss leade not to fort the fact we he t rger segments ofhe population tt arepoor >> and the reach ande haveto reestablish the bance. >> rose:hat would youave themo? >> you know, i'm of t pope's messages of the first day of the new years which always a message on the day of peace as it is
declared proclaim by the church of rome. so that if we d't have social justicwe cannot obtain permanent peace around the globe. so if wehave to understand the oblems of the scalled third wod or any poorfellow human being and to be of help. of course, this is mainly the joof politicians, of leaders of great financial organization the only message of peop of religionlike myself cod give to the world community is to respect everybody, all hum beings, created in the image
and likeness of god. and to be of help. christ said at whatever y do for my smallestoorest people, brothe, you are doingto me. so he, the ld,dentifies himself with those people so you can realize our great responsibili in these context. >> rose: are we forgotten that, you think, as a society? >> unfortunely yes. d we have to rebuild a more
ju world mmunity. e word is not "just" but i can't findhe other. fair. >> rose: fair. yes, fair. so theense of looking at this global economic crisis that we are just beginning to recover from is that was fueled by economic ccess in part... i an, you admonish all leaders to think of those least among u whhave not benefited ands we understand the benefit of free market and the benefit of dierent economic systems make sure that we do not realize that everyo does not benefiand that we have a responsility and it's a spiritual reonsibility to our fellow... >> thiwill be at the last analysis to th benefit of oursels. of all of the human comnity
beuse this will be a great contribution to creating a stable peace around the globe and tual understanding and avoid the rev t... those opposed and will bring peace and equality which will be tohe befit of all of the human community. >> re: one might ask, is the chch doing you have? is the church communicatinwell ough whether it's iam, whetheit's christianity, whether it's judai. it's a huge responsibility to haves understand vues,
fairness, equity. >> to honest, no. region has done a loot throughout the centuriesor us christians, christiany give the strongestessage and the essenceof o christian faith is loveand resct for t human person. buneither christianity nor the otr mono theist religions succeeded to bring peace a love and rpect all over the
globe as w experience it everyday. because reprentatives of religions are also human bein, it means not perfect. they ve their own the things, they hav their own capacities d willingnes to fulfill their sacredesponsibilities. metimes not inrnal but objective, externarbs. prohit us to ffill our sacr mission and task and that is why whatever religions
proclaim an promise is not the reality the life of humans. >> rose:hat happens, i seems to me, is that the extreme edge of vious religious fahs capture and useor themselves theajesty of the church or the soul othe church and use i for political end. >> in some cases in history, yes we cannot reject it it is realit but i remember n that when
only a few months after my election as emenical patriarch i conved all headsof chches at the patriarchat in istanbul and we had the first meeting of the head of the ortdox churches. signed all together a message to our faithful and to the world and that tex of our message we condemned the ing of religion for political and nationalistic rposes and goa so today officially the orthodox church rejects the use ase of religionor politil purposes. >> ros but so many wars also have been fough about religi. or not? >> setimes we misierpret
conflis andars as being eated by region. rose: when is about power. >> but, infact, it is politics or political intest tha provoke the conicts andot region. i believe thatrecent conflts in the balkans, althoug were interpreted as clashoronflict between faiths, rigions it was only for political interest or ecomic interest that ty took place, not out of fference of religis beliefs. rose: se of t most savage fighting during the iraqi war
was between shiites and sunni wiin the church. the sectarian battlewere the most intense. yet at t same time there's a great hope now in iraq that kurds and sunni and shi' can come togetr. >>hat is why we need the interfaith dialogue and thatis whthe ecenical patriarchat receed thismessage 25 years ago and initiated this dialoe between difrent faiths among thmono theistic relions in order to bring mor understanding and mutual respect and to avoid religious fanaticism, fundamealism and to give th a oppounity to hun beings to see each other as brothers because we a all
created by theame god d as such we are bthers and sisters betweenurselves. we have the same hvenly father whater we call him. d as being.... >> rose: we of all relions have t same heavenly father. >> of course. god isut on indepeently on th name we give him, allor yahweh and so on. god is one and we are his children ande have to love and understand eh other. >> rose: how are you doinwith the turkish governnt? >> now better. >> ros (laughs) >> it isruehat we have had serious problems as gree orthodox cmunity, as
ecumenical patrrchat and all thotherinorities living in turk. now thsituation is much better. our ime minister is worki harder t bring turkey into the european union as a full member. is is real and concte aspiration of the prent administrati and weinorities have already expernced some positivehanges which are not enough we do expect f more quick rerms in the turkish society. >> rose: what reforms do you expect? >> >> for instanc freedom, absolu freedom of religion and
a concrete example of. that would bthe reopening o our school of thlogy, it was closed down in the year 1971. which prohibited the ecumenical patriarchat totrain the yog geration of its staff an also the peop ne the commune cal patriarcat abrd. we need the restitution of giving back to us of the church properties ten away fromur nds through non-legalethods and waste.
this will prove tt a rl change of mind. >> rose: do you believe that the pre minister is listening to you? >> >> he has the good wi to do so. it is t always easy to fulfill his plans, his dires. it will take time maybe but we believthat it will be for the benefit of tuey and its image abro to do these reformsnd brg respect, bring back respect foruman rights and the most imptant is respect of regious freedom as soon as possible.
>> y support the membership of turkey in the european union? >> yes, i do. we do at the paiarchat. >> rose: and do you lieve that if it does not lk promising that turkey will loo in another direction? east rher than st? >> well, these are litical questions and i am not involved in the polics but i wi i could see as soons possible tuey being full part, full member of the europea society as the dream andhespiration ofhe fouer of modern turkey. >> he believed thi in a true secular state. >> in order toring turkey into the european family a that is why did so many reforms in his tim.
>> rose: saking of political leads, what do you thk of president obam >> i met h shortlynstanbul a fe months ago and the impressi heave me was a very potive one. the iression of amanumbled, human, a man who knows and wants to lisn to thether. and i very happy and honored that he aeptedo recei me next week,ext tuesday at the white house. this is the case of his predecessors clinn and bush who both reived me in washgton with grea honor which belonged to the patriarch
at to this very ancient religious instition ofurs and not sply to my person. andven president cnton paid anfficial visit to the ecumenical patriarchat to istanbul as sitting predent. this was unue in recent history. >> rose: and suppose the president said to your holiness "what can i do for you? and what can i door your church?" what would y y? >> i would answer him in more genel terms saying that he as the lear of thi great coury which influens so many thing around the globe has to create
this full respt of human right among them religious freed and respect of e rights of norities everywhere because this wl be a real contribution to the establishment of a permanent peace and to oiding conflicts becaus of iustices he h the responsibilitand the possibilityo so much to this directio. and of course in this context, in this framerk ty are first the problems of o church and our minority in turkey a
included. >> rose: you' like him tout that on the turkish agenda ne me he talks to therime minier. >> ourrime minister is coming very soon to washington. inovember. >> rose: and human rights is an inteational... is a gbal value. >> and if the united stas of amica pays great attenon to this issue of human rights. >> rose:ell me000 you see a chging sensef america and wh the world eects from america? >> we appreciate the general speaking of opennes all courageous itiatives taken by political leaders and the leader
of the united states of america which, as said, has a great impact, inuence,ll over the world. ina, you mentioned chin is a huge country with more than one billion inhabitants. so t create t simply good economical relations financial relationwith china between the united states and china but crte and eablish more a more trust, coidence,mong the two great countries, we'll be of great importance for world peace.
the message that predent obama gave since the very begning of tenure in fav of the dialue with islam is al very positiv because itrings derstanding among tw mono theistic religi with so many faithful followers around the globe, these are courageous ste towards establishing the peace to which we a aspire. >> rose: as you know, i'm doing a sers of conversations wi members of islamic world. what would be your messa as .. one of the most important religious leaders the wod islam?
>> to respect all humans. to ach love d respect. to coorate with alleople of good will not to live isolated but in creing, in buding bridges with the other faiths and other cultures and om this point of view we appreciate very muchhe initiative of the turkish prime minister a the spanish prime minier to bring together a closer the civilizations of christian stern and eastern muslim civilization. this is a need, a mtnur
a. >> rose:ou wrote a book called "encountering the mystery. understanding orthod christianity today." what's the mystery? >> the mystery is whaver exist bend visible things, orthodoxy eastern christianity pays great attention and value to spirituality, to known... noseen things but lived, experienced out of fait because of our faith. and these things are ernal, areermanent, do not ange, they are created by g as valid
for all generations, all aces, all ages and the fathers, especially fhers of christia east have spokerepeatedly on the necessity to transcend material ings that they need and to try to appach and live and experice the mysteries of the kingdom of god who is cong. not simply coming but according to the gospel starts since this very life on earth, my intention goes to remind people
of these values, these eternal ings, these things not seen with our eyesbut which is nevertheless the reality and which gives hope for the kingdom god and forternity. >> rose: it is said with respect abt you tt this gh exalted place tha you set s been and sometimes honor riff i n that you have ergized it, he made it more powerful, have made it more visible, have made it more
part of the conversation. what have you done? >> thankou for that. sne (laughs) >> i think that i simply... i'm simply a servant of godnd of faith. i tried to d my best according the necessies and possibilities of tay beginning of the 21st centu, to be in contacwith the reality of everydayife, not to live only in tory or only within the wos of the church, but to be present in among myaithful everywhere, that's why i travel a lot and sometimes i am criticized that i travel t
much. but my feeling is that to bring the message of the gospel the love of the church, the sympathy of the church all over the world. but if you like, if i am permitted to say n only to orthod faithut to all human beings an environment for which we work and try to make a small contributions not a matter of unorthod only. its a matter of all of human beings. i triedo trsmit the ssage of love andrespect, of crse, r god r creator for all of our fello hun beings and for the creation there i repeat is
is sacredbecause it ce out of the hands of god, the ecumenical patrrchat is a very, very important histoc religious based in turkey, in istanbul of today for 1,700 years, if you can imagine, mr. re. and su anld instution whicoffers so many things to the chuh and the humankind, noonly as religion but also as civilization, cture, must be protected in order tourvive, to continue its ecumenical mission, i ecumenical message which spiritu, is human, is
a meage of love, tolerance, reconciltion. this is what i t to do. and ifhere is such a positive appriation of my humble deeds this is an honor for me rose: as it is for me to sit with you. i thank you very muchfor this time. >> thank you. >> rose: our thank to his holiss and all the people who made this conversation possible. we wil begin soon aew sers of conversations about religion d abo politics. it is lled "ices of islam" in whiche will trave the globe talkin to members of the muslim faith about how they see their role and their world and the faith. hope you will join us r those convsations. thank yofor joining us toght. see you next time.